Geigerrig Rig 1600 Tactical Hydration Backpack Review

Anyone who loves the outdoors needs to have a go-to hydration pack. Whether it be for hiking, biking, trail running, hunting, or just plain adventure the right hydration pack will help get you further and keep going. I have had my fair share of hydration packs over the year varying from Camelback to Osprey however, it always felt like something was missing. I loved having access to water straight from the hose without having to take the pack off, especially for mountain biking. That was never the problem, it was always the actual pack that felt off. Both previous hydration packs I had did not have enough organization to grant using it even with the water bladder. 

Enter the Geigerrig Rig 1600

When it comes to a complete package for a quick day-trip adventure pack, the Rig cannot be beaten. We will start with the specs of the Rig first. The whole pack is built from 500D Multicam Cordura, which if you have followed RMK at all you know this is hands down my favorite fabric - mixing in all the best attributes, weight, abrasion resistance, tear strength, and feel. Truthfully if you are making packs without Cordura right now you are doing something wrong. 

The Rig comes in at 1600 Cubic inches, hence the name which equals a 26L volume. I did notice during my testing this pack did not feel like a 26L pack when I had it on riding or hiking. The Goruck GR1 26L also comes in at the same size and feels much more bulky than the Rig. 

To start off, on the very front of the pack you have your typical Military style Mollee webbing to give multiple attachment points as well as connect to any mollee backed pouches you may have. Above the mollee webbing sits the front admin pocket. Upon opening this pocket, you are greeted with a decent sized pocket with plenty of organization up top to keep all of your smaller items secure and ready when you need them. On the very top, there is a section separate from the pocket that lays down. This flap has two small zippered compartments and a place for cards, pens, and pencils. In the top most zipper I kept my keys on the key strap and right below is where I would store my wallet and whatever other small items like chapstick or gum. 

Underneath the top zippered organization pockets you have two larger mesh pockets for any other items you want to keep in the front pocket. 

On either side of the Rig, there are two heavy duty compression straps the help keep the load close to your back or make the pack very slim when not holding a ton of gear. At first I did not think I needed compression straps on a smaller hydration pack however when I took the Rig on my mountain bike ride packed with a full bladder, my DSLR, GoPro, gorilla pod, med kit, and a few other items I was loving the straps. They do a great job at staying out of the way and not flapping all over the place but are right where they need to be when you have to strap up. When strapped they also can act as a second closer system if you need to have the zipper open to carry taller items. At one point I was able to carry my DSLR on the Gorilla pod and have it held in by the buckles for quick access while the pack stayed on my back. 

Below the compression straps on either side of the pack sits a small but great side pocket. The side pocket can not hold a ton but does a great job at storing small quick grab items like spare camera batteries, a fire kit, gloves, etc. On my bike ride and hikes I loaded one pocket out with my spare camera batteries and the other with my work gloves. This is a great feature of the Rig. 

The main compartment of the Rig is exactly how it should be. Large and simple. The main pocket is just one large empty pocket perfect for the larger items in your loadout. While testing this pack I was able to fit my DSLR, Gorilla pod, GoPro and its Gorilla pod, my Med kit EDC pouch, an extra layer, and still had some room. When the water bladder is loaded fully it can push into the main compartment somewhat but that is to be expected. I love the emptiness of the pocket so I can easily slide in and out my camera without catching them on pockets, hooks and whatever else doesn't need to be there. One thing I would like to see added to the main comparment is some light padding on the bottom for some extra peace of mind when carrying Camera or other expensive eletronics. 

Another feature that separates the Rig from other hydration packs is the included, removable, padded hip belt. Not many packs this size offer a fully featured hip belt and I am not sure why because after using the Rig's I am in love. The hip belt is perfectly padded, not too much that it is uncomfortable while riding my bike but enough to support a 30lb Goruck Ruck weight. The hip belt also has a small pocket on either side that was large enough to store my iPhone 6s and would work great for keys and other small items. The belt can be removed effortlessly as it is attached with some heavy duty velcro at the base of the pack. This is one of my favorite features of the Rig. 

The back panel on the Rig is also more than expected from a typical hydration pack. The panel is home to three large separate padded mesh islands to help with not only padding but ventilation. When riding my bike with the pack my back did get sweaty but that is fairly hard to avoid while mountain biking. When just hiking the pack did a great job at venting. At the bottom of the back panel, there is a large lumbar mesh pad which houses the velcro for the hip belt.   

 

Right behind the padded back panel runs a zipper which reveals the water bladder compartment. The Rig comes with an included 3L bladder which is not your average bladder. The Geigerrig bladder does not only hold water and give you a hydration hose but has a separate "pressure hose" which the user can pump full and give the water hose pressure. At first, I really thought this was just a marketing technique however upon using I doubt I will ever be happy with another bladder. Pumping air into the bladder allowed me to pinch the outlet and use the hydration hose as more than a hydration outlet, I was able to spray my face to cool down with water, fill up my pup's water bowl and spray off my boots at the end of the hike. On the right shoulder strap, the Insulated water bladder hose runs down and connects to the plastic hold. The left strap houses the pump hose in a small pocket which can be pumped while zipped shut. The addition of the Insulated hydration hose really helped to not blasted with a stream of warm water on the first gulp after a while. 

 

The shoulder straps on the Rig are lightly padded and backed with the same mesh material used on the hip belt and back panel of the pack. The Rig comes with an included sternum strap and plenty of attachment points. Each hose runs down the straps and stays low profile due to the loops and clips holding the hoses down.

The Rig 1600 Tactical Hydration Pack by Geigerrig is not only my favorite hydration packs I've used but one of my favorite day hiking/adventure packs. The attention to detail is very apparent from the stitching to the small mesh parts in high contact areas. The pressurized water bladder is an awesome feature and the removable padded hip belt brings it all together to make a monster day pack. The pack comes in at $210 which is not cheap but completely justifiable with the Cordura construction and top-tier features. The Rig also comes in the Mulitcam verison I have, Black, and Coyote Tan. I look forward to seeing what other great packs come from the guys over at Geigerrig. 

+

  • 500D Cordura
  • Padded Removable Hip-Belt
  • Compression Straps
  • Padded Back Panel
  • Great attention to detail
  • Pressurized Water Bladder
  • Great Organization for a Hydration Pack
  • Mollee Webbing

-

  • No padding on bottom
  • No Velcro patch on Front for Morale Patches

Yeti Hopper Flip 12 Cooler Review

"Your New Outdoor Buddy"

Every now and then I get a product in my hands that is everything I could have ever imagined and more. The Yeti Hopper Flip which came out last month is that product. I have taken this thing every day to the Fire Academy as my personal lunch cooler and to a few trips up in the mountains of Colorado, it has done nothing but continue to impress the hell out of me.  

Yeti is the Rolls-Royce of outdoor coolers and is the go to for anyone serious enough about keeping their food/drinks cold as can be while being able to last a lifetime and look damn good doing it. The Hopper Flip hit the shelves last August and has been a hit since. I was able to get my hands on one for testing after seeing it in person at Outdoor Retailer. 

If you have ever owned or dreamed of owning a Yeti Cooler you know they are not cheap by any means. The Flip follows this same principle coming in at $279.99.  I will go further into detail about the price and my ideas on whether or not the Flip is worth it later on. The Flip is Yeti's first real "personal" cooler at only 3lbs and measuring just over 11" x 12". 

"Perfect Size for the Day"

The Yeti to me is the perfect size for a day cooler or a personal lunch cooler. It fits my lunch at the Academy with ease and plenty of room to spare. I did put it to the test to see how many beers the Flip could hold and it stayed true to the 12 listed on the Yeti site. Yeti was nice enough to throw in their Flip-sized Ice pack which I put on the bottom of the beers and lay them down to pack in tight with some room to spare for ice on top if you wanted. The beers stayed ice cold the entire day only with the ice pack which is amazing. The ability to only throw a small ice pack in the bottom of the cooler and be able to keep everything on top without ice in between and getting all your food wet is great. 

"Cold As Ice"

To build on that, I decided to do a test with only the ice pack I was sent from Yeti and the beers. Over a 24 hour period, the Temperature in the beers only raised 3 degrees F while sitting outside on my back porch. Any cooler that can hold a temp like that is a winner in my book. 

Not only does the Flip keep things extremely cold, it looks great while doing it. On the back of the Yeti, there is a 2x3 Velcro patch to throw all of your hard earned morale patches or even a name patch. On either side of the Logo or Velcro patch, there are two rows of mollee style webbing which allow you to attach anything you want. On mine, I decided to throw on a Black Diamond Caribeaner for some looks and a possible attachment point for keys or whatever else. Yeti also sells a bottle opener which can be attached easily to the mollee which is a great idea and way to always have one near your booze box.   

"Shoulder Strap To Match The Cooler"

Each side of the Flip is paired with side grab handles and an attachment point for the included shoulder strap. The side handles are a great option if one does not want to use the strap or needs a quick way to grab the cooler and go. The shoulder strap on the Flip matches the same build quality as the cooler itself. I hate seeing a quality built duffle only to be greeted with a half-ass shoulder strap, which is honestly, a huge part of any bag or cooler you are going to be carrying from place to place like I will with the Flip. The shoulder strap is built from the same material as the cooler itself their "Dryhide Shell" on the outside of the strap and a very soft and comfortable neoprene on the inside. The shoulder strap made carrying the cooler packed with 12 beers much easier. 

"Element-Proof HydroLok Zipper"

Above each side handle runs the patented Yeti HydroLok Zippe. The HydroLok is by far the largest and most secure zipper I have ever used here at RMK and for a god reason. Obviously, a major difference with the Hopper line of coolers compared to the normal hard-sided coolers most people are used to is the zipper on the top. In order to keep everything on the inside of the cooler, you need to have a bombproof zipper that not only keeps the cold in but keeps the water out. I did a quick test up in the Blue River in Dillon Colorado to see how the zipper held up with our lunch inside. The cooler as one would probably guess floats so I had to jump on top of the cooler which helped check off two tests instead of one, however, we will get to that later. After pulling the cooler out of the rocks and water I opened it up to not one drop of water. The HydroLok zipper is the real deal when it comes to a zipper that will no matter what keep your drinks cold and the elements out of the Flip. Below I am going to show mulitple pictures of the HydroLok  (I'd love to run these guys on some of my packs)

While testing the Yeti I was trying to find something I did not like or would change about the cooler. The only thing I found which is really not a big deal but I thought I would mention is when the lid of the cooler is opened and pulled back it will not stay in the open position but swing back shut. I didn't find this to be too big of a problem but it did make grabbing things out with only one hand a little bit harder. It is nice in the way too that you won't ever have to worry about leaving the lid of the Flip open!

As mentioned above the Flip while getting submerged was also able to stand tall while support my 200lbs frame, for a soft sided cooler I feel that this only shows the type of build quality by Yeti on the Flip. This section of the review is where I feel the $279 price tag gets completely justified. Will the Flip keep your drinks cold? Yes. Is the Flip the same size as other personal coolers on the market? Yes. Do other coolers have handles and shoulder straps just like the Flip? Yes. Could you throw other coolers off of mountains and down a river like the Flip? No. 

The Flip is my first Yeti as stated at the start of this review and it will not be my last. It is truly amazing the type of build quality Yeti has built themselves on and you can feel it firsthand with the Flip. The DryHide Shell that the Flip has on the outside is literally as tough as nails, it is scratch-proof and puncture resistant. Throughout my testing, I would slam the cooler down, kick it over, and walk over it. All while the Flip holds on to over 10lbs of beer. Never once did I feel like I damaged the cooler or was worried about what I had on the inside. The soft sided nature of the Flip also acts as a padding layer for the goods inside. 

+

  • It's a Yeti
  • Padded Shoulder Strap
  • Side Handles
  • Velcro patch and Mollee webbing for Attachments
  • Will keep cold for 24+ Hours
  • Water and Element Proof
  • Crush, Puncture, and Scratch Proof
  • Looks Great

-

  • $$$
  • Does not stay open when lid is pulled back

Could you get by with buying a $50 cooler from Walmart? Yes, without a doubt. You just have to ask yourself how many of those $50 coolers will you have to purchase over the years. After testing and getting to experience the Flip for myself I have no doubt that this cooler is worth the $279 price tag. Yes, it is a lot of money for just a cooler but if you use it enough it is well worth it. Each Yeti comes with a 3-year warranty in case you feed the cooler to a walrus or something, but other than that I doubt you will need it. The Yeti Flip will be coming on every adventure I need to keep a few drinks or a lunch cold on here at RMK Outdoors. I will be trying to get my hands on the bigger Hopper 40 for longer trips like camping or hunting at the cabin in Wisconsin. 

 

 

GoRuck GR0 Review and Highlights

  The search for the perfect EDC, Range, Hiking, Biking, do it all backpack is thought to be an impossible one. Up until about a month ago I was also a non-believer in the myth of a perfect all-around backpack. The collection of backpacks I have acquired throughout the years ranges from Osprey, Ogio, Camelback, 5.11, Nike, and many others. I've had a pack for everything that I enjoy doing. I had my various Camelbaks and Osprey packs for my biking/hiking and camping adventures. My 5.11 and more tactical bags were my companions when I went to the range or needed a quick "EDC" bag. And finally my Nike bags traveled with me when I decided to go to the gym. If you are reading this then you already know that having this many bags can put a major dent in your wallet. On the other hand, you also know the almost addicting nature certain types of well made bags can have on you. 

  A little over a month ago I was in the market for a new bag I could take hiking as my Osprey backpack which was already on its last leg, decided to tear in the bottom of the main compartment. The Osprey was a great backpack for what I had used it for over the years. Mostly hiking, biking, camping, and a few day carries.  Even though the Osprey was a great and reliable pack it was always missing something. Missing that grit and toughness I was longing for that would make carrying the pack not only practical but admirable.  Having said this I was always keeping my eye open for the perfect backpack. Through my various searches on google and popular you-tubers I stumbled across the seemingly overpriced GoRuck GR0. 

Enter the Goruck GR0

  I’m sure if you are reading this post you are already familiar with the GR0 and the GoRuck company but if for some reason you aren't yet here is the quick overview.  - GoRuck was founded in January of 2008 by ex Green Beret Jason McCarthy.  GoRucks mission statement is “Challenge Excellence and Do Right By People.” There are no other better words to describe GoRuck as a company. The company strives for excellence wether it is through their GoRuck events, superior products, or the people they hire for their company. GoRuck hands down provides the best. The company started out by trying to “bridge” the relationship between the military and civilian worlds and it started with the production of their first ruck the GR1. Shortly after Goruck’s initial product Jason wanted someway to “test” the product before sending it overseas to friends and customers. He came up the Goruck events just to do so. This also became the key focus of Goruck as a company. In their words, “People became our focus, rucking together became our focus, building better americans became our focus.” Not only does Goruck produce great gear, hold hundreds of amazing events nationwide, but they also employ combat Veterans of Special Operations. These “Cadres” run their Goruck events and by doing so make it a very unique experience and help America by “Building Better Americans.” 

  Now that I have properly introduced you to GoGuck as a company I will really bring in the GR0. The GR0 is Goruck’s smaller brother to their best selling and most versatile product the GR1. The main intention of this product was initially to create a versatile “rucksack” capable of almost anything under the horizon, and they came pretty close. With Goruck’s ever-expanding customer base they needed to expand as a company. This evolution sparked the making of the proportionally smaller GR0. The GR0 sits at 11.5”W x 18.0”H x 5.5”D and holds 21L. 

  

  The ruck from head to toe feels amazingly well built. At the top of the ruck there is a a handle, like most backpacks. The difference between Goruck’s handle and those of any other brand is the reinforced stitching. This feature is not only home to the handle of the ruck but the every contact point of the backpack itself. 

  

  The handle of the backpack is rated up to 400 pounds, Ill let that speak for itself. 

  Moving down the ruck to the shoulder straps. Everyone who has owned a backpack knows how uncomfortable thin/narrow straps can be with any kind of substantial weight in the pack. Not only do the extra padded and double stitched should straps on the backpack last forever and add extra padding but they also help disperse the weight and make the ruck feel lighter then it really is. I have had other similar styled backpacks like the 5.11 Rush 12 where the shoulder straps are also very padded and wide. Unlike the 5.11 Rush 12 the straps on the GR0 without weight in the pack feel normal and not overkill. No matter the weight in my ruck the straps stay true to form and function as intended. The straps also connect in a unique way which lets the user flip them over to the front of the pack and access the laptop/hydration bladder compartment.   

 

  The GR0 has 21L of space which is exactly 5L less then the 26L GR1 although, with the amount of storage and pockets I found to be more then enough room for my EDC gear or a day to the range. On the back of the pack there is a padded “bombproof” laptop or hydration bladder compartment. I found this compartment to hold my 13 inch Macbook pro comfortably and with room to spare. When I loaded the pack up for a bike ride or hike and used the hydration bladder I felt the say way. There was plenty of room to not make the bladder feel “squished” to my back like I have had happen in countless other packs. The bottom of the ruck also has some padding for those less polite set-downs with the laptop in the pocket. 

  I found the pocket configuration on the GR0 to be perfect. There were not too many pockets that I had absolutely no clue what to put in them and force myself to overpack, but just enough to hold all of my smaller items without hassle and keep the ruck streamlined. The main large compartment is where I store my 6 bricks and yoga brick while rucking or using to workout with. If I am using for EDC/School I keep my binder, calculator, notepad, a few books and my iPad neatly tucked in. For a day at the range I keep my pistol case, a few hundred 9mm rounds, earphones, field notepad and my gun cleaning kit. 

  On the inside of the front flap you will find two pockets, the upper one solid 1000d and the bottom mesh. In the upper one while on a normal day I can usually fit all of my  chargers/wallet, keys and other smaller accessories. The larger lower mesh compartment holds about 2x more then the one above. I normally throw in extra layers or larger light items. 

  On the outside of the front flap there is another larger pocket. When I have the ruck packed completely full this pocket can be a slight struggle to reach into. I find this pocket day after day to be my “go to” pocket. On a normal day this is where you will find my headphones, Copenhagen, and few pens, meds etc. This pocket actually is much larger then the picture shows and reaches to almost the whole length of the pack itself.

  Goruck has included Molle webbing on the sides/front and inside the ruck which adds a more tactical look without screaming military or guns. I found this feature to be extremely important as I wanted this backpack for multiple loadouts. 

  The Molle webbing can be used to attach many things ranging from carabineers to a mountain bike helmet. Goruck also sells additional “Field Pockets” correlating to the size of the ruck you own. These can be attached either externally of internally depending on your preference or situation. Having wanted to use this pack not only for EDC and school but also for hunting and range days I found this feature to be a huge selling point.  

  Like every GoRuck product the GR0 is built with a 2x3 hook and loop spot on the front. Personally this is my favorite feature of the pack which really adds a simple and customizable option to the GR0. GoRuck sells various 2x3 patches on their site including the one you saw earlier with their reverse flag logo. Not only does GoRuck sell patches but they also give them as a one time reward for completing one of their challenges. Now, not only does completing one of their challenges give you a sense of accomplishment and “badassattiude” but distinguishes you from others while welcoming you to the Goruck family. 

  Lastly but certain not least, a feature that is overlooked by countless major backpack retailers is the zippers that GoRuck stamped onto the GR0. These zippers are “YKK” zippers are known to be some of the best zippers in the world and are self healing. Which means if for some reason your zipper does fail to close you can rip it back and go over it again to seal the gap. Truthfully very few people should ever get this pumped up about zippers but when you use a backpack for rucking, hunter, lifting, hiking, camping they are a crucial part of the system. Not only do these zipper kick ass but they are “glove friendly with heat shrinked paracord.” You will be using these a lot like every other pack. The difference is you will never have to worry about them, or hear them.

The GoRuck GR0 and GR1 currently come in Wolf Grey, Coyote, and Black. They have a price tag of $295 for the GR1 and $265 for the GR0.  Now I know many of you despite my above review will probably think that is completely overpriced for a backpack. I argue otherwise, not only does the GR0 have everything that I pointed out and showed above but GoRuck also backs their rucks with the “Scars” lifetime guarantee. This guarantee pretty much covers anything short of bullet holes, and burns. I know for a fact that I have spent well over $1,000 on backpacks and gym/range bags over the last few years, most of these bags I use the shit out of and end up failing somewhere along the line. Leading me to buy a new and usually, more expensive bag.

 I have no doubt that this ruck will last me for no less then the next 10 years.  Everything GoRuck produces is of the highest standards and not only do I back their products but I back their company as a whole. Ruck On!